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Penny Fuller, Bianca Marroquin, Anna Deveare Smith, and More Win IRNE Awards

Penny Fuller
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Winners have been announced for the 12th annual Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards, which were presented last night at the Boston Center for the Arts. 25 different stage productions were honored, with awards bestowed in 24 categories for Large and Small Theatres.

Among the notable acting winners were Ross Bickell, Jack Davidson, and Penny Fuller for their performances in Merrimack Rep's A Delicate Balance; Bianca Marroquin for her performances in North Shore Music Theatre's Bye Bye Birdie and the national tour of Chicago; Anna Deveare Smith for her solo performance Let Me Down Easy; Ken Howard for his solo performance in According to Tip; and Eric Kunze for his performances in Reagle Players' Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the tour of Whistle Down the Wind.

Jose Rivera won a Best New Play Award for Boleros for the Disenchanted at the Huntington Theatre Company. Nicholas Martin won for his direction of the Huntington's She Loves Me, which also won for Best Production of a Musical, while Charles Tower won for his direction of A Delicate Balance, which also took the Best Production of a Play Award (both in the Large Theatre categories).

SpeakEasy Stage Company received 11 awards, the most of any company, including the Small Theatre category awards for Best Production of a Play (The History Boys) and Musical (The Light in the Piazza).

In addition, the Kenneth A. MacDonnald Award for Theater Excellence was awarded to Joe Antoun, the Artistic Director of Boston's Centastage.

For more information, including a full list of nominees and winners, visit